Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein has opened up in a rare interview with Emirates Woman about the loss of her mother, the ongoing Syrian conflict, her social media views, her admiration for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and more.
Princess Haya, the younger half-sister of Jordan’s current King Abdullah, spoke about losing her mother when she was just 3-years-old and the impact that has had on her life. Her mother, Queen Alia, was killed in a helicopter crash in 1977.
Her Royal Highness said, “Losing my mother at the young age of three has made the plight of orphans very important to me. Children brought up in a loving environment have much to offer the world and sadly, through no fault of their own, too many children are orphaned. Concentrating on making their lives better is something I really want to draw light to.”
Regarding the conflict in Syria, Princess Haya spoke about how the refugee crisis stemming from the civil war in the Middle Eastern country is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two. She said, “The inextricably linked ethnic, religious and political issues that have created this issue are something that world leaders need to urgently address.”
She then went on to talk about how the different humanitarian crises have to compete against one another for attention from the world. Her Royal Highness said, “There are so many that are overshadowed, or ignored. It’s impossible for me to tell you that one humanitarian crisis is bigger or more important than another because every single human life is of equal value and every senseless loss is a scar on our collective humanity.”
The Princess also said, “I have been reading a book, which I strongly recommend you read, called Cast Away by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson describing stories of survival from Europe’s refugee crisis. It forces you to digest the completely unimaginable decisions that some human beings in our world are being forced to make.”
“The fact that there are so many millions of desperate people in our world that have to face appalling choices for a variety of different reasons is a call to all of us to do our part.”
There are 242,000 Syrian nationals currently living in the United Arab Emirates.
Haya, who is the junior wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, utilises social media platforms like Instagram. You can follow her official account @hrhprincesshaya. She is careful to keep her public and private lives separate while giving people an insight into her royal life.
On the topic of social media, she said, “In this communication age it is difficult for every member of society to find the right balance. There is a huge danger when a person begins to sell him or herself – it is such a slippery slope. It puts an incredible amount of pressure on a person to keep reinventing [themselves] in ways that are unnatural.”
“Finding the confidence to accept who you are and what you stand for gives you a critical mass of yourself that you are not willing to change to please others.”
Princess Haya expressed her admiration for Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, as well. Both women, have inspired her and are her style icons. Her Royal Highness believes that Her Majesty and the late Princess of Wales are inspiring to all for their timeless elegance, their sensitivity to cultures and their sense of occasion.”
She further spoke to Emirates Woman about how women “need to be the harbingers of a sea change.”
She explained, “Women need to realise their strength. So many great women before us and among us have suffered greatly to carve a place for us in modern society that is today better than yesterday and will be better yet tomorrow if women are allowed to achieve their potential.”
You can read the full interview, covering an array of different topics like her views on breaking down boundaries and her family life, here.